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Long Weekend with my Frog Babies

DIY Solutions for Dogs




Guest Contributor:  Adam Holmes


Supporting your own livelihood is expensive enough without the inclusion of pets.  Although a furry addition to the family is great for the soul, it's not always the best for a bank account.  If you're in the market for a canine companion, but are a little worried about the family budget, never fear.  You don't have to run up a bill at your local pet store to stock up on supplies for Fido.


Providing adequate space for a dog can be one of the most difficult aspects of owning one.  For many homeowners, especially those with a family, there's already little available room, let alone enough for a dog.  If your particular breed is the type to make a mess when your back is turned, these DIY enclosure solutions can save a headache and some money in the long run.

  • Dog Gates:  These can be made from old cribs, doors and even wooden fences.  You might have to sand down some splinters and throw on a coat of paint, but you'll have the most decorative dog gate on the block
  • Doghouses:  Whether your strip the drawers from a dresser and line the inside with padding, or put a pillow in and old, hollowed out barrel, creating a DIY doghouse is easy, not to mention a fun activity for the whole family.
  • Outdoor Fencing:  Preventing Fido from escaping usually requires constructing some kind of fence.  But, if you're not the hammer-and-nails type of pet owner, purchasing a wireless dog fence is a less expensive alternative that lets you customize the area in which your dog romps around. Check wireless dog fences.


Like children, dogs can entertain themselves with practically anything.  Whether it's a plastic bottle or a paper bag, finding something for your pup to play with can be both inexpensive and easily done.   It may take a little imagination, but when it comes to chew toys, it's better to offer up something homemade to play with, rather than the home itself. 



  • Denim Tug-of-War:  Have an old pair of jeans lying around?  All you have to do is remove the bottom half of your jeans, roll it up, tie it in a knot, and voila, you have something for your pup to sink his teeth into.
  • Pantyhose Fetch: Every dog loves playing fetch, and a lot of women have pantyhose they don't use anymore.  Rather than tossing them out, put a tennis ball inside them and get to throwing. These toys won't last long, but are definitely cheap to replace!
  • Friend from Scratch:  For those with some sewing skills, all it takes is some basic supplies and you can make a teddy bear buddy for your dog.  Can you say adorable? 


Teddy bear buddy 1
Teddy bear buddy2




DIY treats for dogs are beneficial in many ways.  They're not only cheaper than store-bought treats, but also allow you to control exactly what your dog ingests.  

  • Frozen Broth Treats:  For the dog who can't stand the summer heat, some chicken broth ice cubes are an excellent treat for a hot day.  All you have to do is freeze broth in an ice cube tray and serve when it starts getting warm outside.
  • Dehydrated Sweet Potato Strips:  Dogs love bacon, but if you're looking for a healthier option, strips of dehydrated sweet potato make for a great substitution.  First, wash and peel the sweet potato.  Then, cut into thin strips and dehydrate at around 150 degrees, or until hard enough for your dog. 
  • Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Cookies:  2 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour; 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.    
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Whisk together the flour, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Add water as needed to help make the dough workable, but the dough should be dry and stiff. Roll the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick roll. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until hard, about 40 minutes.   Makes 25 treats. 



As you can see, owning a dog doesn't have to break the bank.  Sure, there are certain expenses that can't be avoided, but for those willing to do it themselves, there are countless solutions that can save money your dog howling for more. 


Author Bio:  Adam Holmes is a long time dog owner and writer.  When he isn't diving headfirst into his notebook, he's out and about with his dog, playing fetch and wrestling.